Following the launch of a murder investigation by Essex and Kent Serious Crime Directorate, on Monday, 25 July last year, after 44-year-old Adrian Ellingford was seriously assaulted at an address in Nelson Grove, Chelmsford.
A heavily intoxicated Marek Hecko approached officers on scene cordon at the address while carrying a bottle of brandy. He started to tell officers that he knew what had happened and that he could help. After becoming confrontational he was arrested and taken into custody, whereupon he was later identified as the main suspect while in custody.
Marek Hecko, a 26-year-old man from Rookes Crescent in Chelmsford, has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 26 years after being found guilty of murder at Chelmsford Crown Court on March 13. He was charged with the murder of Adrian Ellingford, a 44-year-old father of two, who was seriously assaulted at an address in Nelson Grove, Chelmsford, on July 25, 2022.
During the trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, which began on February 13, Hecko claimed that he had turned up at the scene after seeing the news, despite the fact that no news had gone public or on social media at that time.
The court heard that Adrian Ellingford was with a former partner of Hecko’s on the night of his death, and that Hecko had exhibited stalking behaviour towards her. On March 13, a jury unanimously found him guilty of murder, and he was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 26 years on March 14.
A senseless attack
Detective Chief Inspector Louise Metcalfe said:
“From the moment this was declared a murder investigation, our team worked tirelessly to gather CCTV, statements and compile the evidence needed to charge Hecko.
“Despite the huge amount of work going on behind the scenes, we made supporting Adrian’s family a priority, and our family liaison officers have done an incredible job from the start.
“This was a senseless attack on Adrian, which has left two children without a father.
“I hope that they can move forward and find some closure now that Hecko is behind bars.”
A truly brilliant father
Yesterday, 13 March, Adrian’s wife bravely read out her victim personal statement in court and described how Adrian was an “amazing husband, loving son, a caring brother, a friend to many and most importantly a truly brilliant father.”
Monday 13 March: Man convicted
Marek Hecko, 26 of Rookes Crescent, Chelmsford appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court today (13 March) where he was found guilty of murder.
The victim, 44-year-old Adrian Ellingford was seriously assaulted in the early hours of Monday, 25 July. He sadly died as a result of multiple stab wounds.
A murder investigation was quickly launched and lead by Detective Chief Inspector Louise Metcalfe. DCI Metcalfe said:
“Adrian’s death was tragic and caused a huge shock to this small community.
“The team acted quickly to begin gathering evidence and taking statements from those in the area.
“Whilst one of our officers was guarding the crime scene, she was approached by Hecko who was heavily intoxicated and indicated that he knew what had happened. Enquiries identified him as a main suspect and he was arrested on suspicion of murder.”
Following his arrest, Hecko was charged three days later and remanded into custody.
A trial began at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday, 13 February and today, a jury found Hecko guilty of murder. He will appear in court on Tuesday 14 March for sentencing.
Following today’s conviction Adrian’s wife Laura has paid tribute to him, saying the following:
“Adrian was my amazing husband of 17 years. As well as being my husband he was a loving son, a caring brother, a friend to many and most importantly a truly brilliant father to our boys.
“Words cannot describe how I feel about the events of 25th July 2022. He was brutally ripped from our lives in events that I still can’t really comprehend myself or begin to explain to our boys. The impact of his death has affected many people in very different ways. It is totally heartbreaking.
“He was a good man, always willing to help friends and neighbours out if they were in a pickle. He was hard working and caring, and nothing was too much trouble. He even volunteered at the boys’ scout group on a regular basis.
“In all of this it’s the impact on those two innocent boys that is the most heartbreaking thing. Yes we have all lost Adrian and are dealing our own grief and the consequences of his death but they did not deserve to have their beloved dad taken away from them like this. Having to tell them both that their beloved dad was never coming home was the most painful and heartbreaking thing that I have ever had to do. They are 12 and 10 years old and not really old enough to truly appreciate what they’ve lost.
“They will not have Adrian with them through the milestones in their lives. He will never be able to teach them to drive, buy them their first drink or to celebrate their academic achievements. He will never see them grow up into young men who will have partners and families of their own. No one will ever be able to replace their dad.
“Adrian you will always be missed by us as your family and you will always hold a special place in our hearts. We miss you every day and love you forever.”
Detective Chief Inspector Metcalfe added:
“This trial has been long and extremely distressing for Adrian’s loved ones, who have had to sit and listen to details of his death.
“I hope that this court result today and this justice provides a form of closure to Adrian’s loved ones, who have had an incredibly difficult time since his death.
“We have remained committed to finding out what happened, with our team reviewing hours of CCTV and body worn footage dedicating hundreds of hours to compiling the case we needed ahead of the trial.
“I would like to thank my team for the commitment they have shown to this investigation.”
Friday 29 July
A man found dead in Chelmsford earlier this week has been described as a “much loved husband, father, son, and brother.”
Adrian Ellingford, who was 44 years-old, died at an address in Nelson Grove in the early hours of Monday (25 July).
In a statement, his family said:
“Our hearts are broken.
“Adrian is, and always will be, a much loved husband, father, son and brother.
“He has been taken from his family and friends far too soon.
“While we try to come to terms with our sudden and devastating loss, we as the family ask for privacy at this extremely difficult time.”
Twenty-five year-old Marek Hecko, of Rookes Crescent, Chelmsford has been charged with murder.
Thursday 28 July
A man has been charged with murder, following the death of a man in Chelmsford on Monday (25 July).
We were called to reports of a man seriously injured in Nelson Grove at around 4.30am.
Despite the best efforts of the paramedics, the man was, sadly, pronounced dead at the scene.
As a result of a fast-paced investigation by Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, a man was arrested in connection with the investigation, later that day.
Marek Hecko, 25, of Rookes Crescent, Chelmsford was arrested and has now been charged with murder.
He will appear at Colchester Magistrates Court today (Thursday 28 July 22).
Monday 25 July, 6:30pm
Officers investigating the death of a man in Chelmsford this morning have made an arrest.
We were called to a residential address in Nelson Grove, Chelmsford at around 4:30am following reports of a man being badly injured. The victim, a man in his 40s, was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.
A homicide investigation was swiftly launched and this afternoon, officers from Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate arrested a 25-year-old man from Chelmsford on suspicion of murder. He remains in custody.
Enquiries are ongoing and a post-mortem examination is yet to be carried out.
Detective Chief Inspector Louise Metcalfe, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said:
“I appreciate that news of this man’s death has spread quickly today and caused a lot of concern within the community, but I hope this arrest provides some reassurance.
“This investigation has been fast-paced and we have already carried out extensive enquiries including house to house. I’d like to thank those in the community who have supported our officers with this investigation so far.
“We are continuing to appeal for the public’s help and appealing to anyone who may have any further information or witnessed anything suspicious in the area last night or this morning to contact us.
“As well as this, if you live in the area or were driving through the area and may have any dashcam or CCTV footage which could help, please contact us.”
Chief Inspector Steve Scott- Haynes, Chelmsford District Commander said:
“Residents of Nelson Grove and the surrounding area will notice an increased police presence over the coming week.
“A scene is expected to remain in place at the address for at least three days. Whilst we ask the public to respect any cordons in place, we’d also encourage you to ask our officers any questions you may have, and they will answer the best they can.”
Monday 25 July, 12:15pm
We are on the scene of a serious incident at a property in Nelson Grove, Chelmsford.
We were called by colleagues in the ambulance service shortly after 4.30am this morning, Monday 25 July, to reports of a man having been badly injured.
Offices arrived and found a man had sustained a number of injuries.
Despite the best efforts of medics, sadly, the man was pronounced dead.
At this stage, his death is being treated as a homicide investigation. A post-mortem examination is yet to be carried out.
No arrests have been made and our enquiries are ongoing.
Detective Chief Inspector Louise Metcalfe, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said:
“Our investigation is in its early stages, and we are working very quickly to piece together what led up to the incident in Nelson Grove.
“That will include viewing CCTV from neighbouring properties and carrying out a number of house-to-house enquiries in the area.
“As a result, you can expect a large policing presence in the area throughout the day as we seek to establish the circumstances around this man’s death.”
Chief Inspector Steve Scott-Haynes, Chelmsford District Commander, said:
“This will understandably cause a great deal of concern among our community who are waking up to this news.
“The investigation is being led by detectives from the Serious Crime Directorate and you can expect a significant policing presence in the area today from detectives and uniformed officers.
“If you feel you need to speak to them, please do, they are there to help and reassure you.”
We have already spoken to a number of people nearby to obtain accounts, but we need anyone who witnessed an incident or any suspicious behaviour in the street between 11pm last night, Sunday 24 July, and 4.30am this morning, Monday 25 July, to get in touch as soon as possible.
Equally, we would like to hear from anyone with dashcam or doorbell footage of the street in that same timeframe.